|Port of registry||
Bottom of the sea
|Behind the scenes|
The Flying Dutchman was an infamous supernatural ship. Originally, the Dutchman held the sacred task of collecting all the poor souls who died at sea and ferrying them to the next world. During the Age of Piracy, the Dutchman would become a ship feared by many across the seven seas.
According to legends and lore, the Flying Dutchman was given to Davy Jones by his love, the sea goddess Calypso, who gave Jones with the duty of ferrying the souls. After ten years, Jones would be free to come ashore to be with Calypso. But whenever Davy Jones came ashore, Calypso was nowhere to be found. This ultimately resulted in Jones carving out his own heart, and locking it in the Dead Man's Chest. Jones abandoned his duty, instead wreaking havoc on the seas and unleashing the Kraken upon many vessels. He also preyed on wayward sailors lost at sea who wish to avoid death and final judgment, press-ganging them into his crew, eventually becoming part of the Dutchman itself.
Many years later, the crew of the Black Pearl would run afoul of the Flying Dutchman due to Jack Sparrow's debt with Jones. Sparrow tried to escape service aboard the Dutchman by possessing Jones' heart. The heart later found its way into the possession of Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company, who would use the Flying Dutchman and its crew to lead his armada in the War Against Piracy. This eventually forced a confrontation with the Brethren Court off the coast of Shipwreck Island. The Flying Dutchman became locked in a titanic battle with the Black Pearl. In the midst of the chaos, Will Turner stabbed the heart of Davy Jones, thereby killing Jones and replacing him as the new captain of the Dutchman.
With the death of Davy Jones, both the Flying Dutchman and its crew returned to their true forms. They aided the pirates in destroying the HMS Endeavour, defeating Beckett. After the battle, Turner took on fulfilling the duty for which the Dutchman was originally designed for.
Ferrying the dead
Command of the Flying Dutchman was originally given to Davy Jones by the sea goddess Calypso. The two were in love, and Jones agreed to an immortal life, with a single day out of every decade to spend with his love. In exchange, Jones would ferry the souls of those who died at sea into the afterlife, as well as saving those who were shipwrecked and drowning. The dimension these souls passed through became known as Davy Jones' Locker, and the Flying Dutchman could pass through it accompanied by the green flash. But when Davy Jones came ashore, on the first day after his ten year duty, he was forsaken by Calypso, who was nowhere to be found. And so the heartbroken and bitter Jones refused to continue with the duty.
- "And a heart. I learned that if you stab the heart, yours must take its place. And you will sail the seas for eternity. The Dutchman must have a captain."
- ―Weatherby Swann
So, when the First Brethren Court convened a great Conclave, Davy Jones allied himself with the them to tear the rule of the seas away from Calypso. With his help, the Brethren tricked the goddess and bound her into human form. After this betrayal, he carved out his heart, thereby leaving a geis cast upon it and the Dutchman: whoever stabs Jones' heart, theirs must take its place and captain the Dutchman, as the ship must have a captain. As a result, the Dutchman itself became cursed, just as Jones was. Its crew slowly transformed into amalgamations of sea creatures, and the ship itself became crusted with barnacles, sea life, and the bodies of those crew members who stayed in her service too long. To keep his fate intact, Davy Jones locked his heart in a chest on Isla Cruces, hiding it from all who would use it against him.
An eternity of service
Having rejected his true duty, Davy Jones set himself up as the lord of the sea, toying with the fates of those souls he had once sworn to save. Jones commonly offered dying men a choice: either embrace death or postpone the judgment and serve for one hundred years aboard the Flying Dutchman. However, because of a gambling game referred to as Liar's dice, in which sailors wagered their years of service, some remained onboard far longer. In fact, some had their very souls lost to Jones forever, literally becoming part of the ship itself, losing all humanity. Often Jones spent his time in his enormous cabin, endlessly playing a haunting tune on his massive coral-encrusted pipe organ. Jones would use the tentacles of his beard to play for hours, tortured by a painting of the sea and a small statue of his lost love Calypso set just above the keyboard.
Hunting Jack Sparrow
Davy Jones would sail the seas for many years (the only official record is that he sailed the Dutchman for the first three Brethren Court meetings) and eventually went to call in a debt owed by Jack Sparrow. Jones sent crewman Bootstrap Bill Turner to brand Jack with the Black Spot so the Kraken could find and destroy Jack should he attempt to flee from Jones. Jack Sparrow tracked down the Dutchman using Tia Dalma's crab claws and tricked Will Turner into believing a ship recently destroyed by the Kraken was the ship they were after, and that all he need do was sneak on board and retrieve the key. Things did not go according to plan however as the real Flying Dutchman burst from the ocean depths and took Turner prisoner. However, because Turner escaped, Davy Jones had the Dutchman search for him, which led him to summon the Kraken to destroy the Edinburgh Trader.
Later, when Jones tracked Jack to the Isla Cruces in the fight for the Dead Man's Chest, the Dutchman gave chase after the Black Pearl when Sparrow recovered Jones's Heart. Though the Dutchman was fabled to be the fastest ship in the sea, the Pearl technically had an advantage given the winds there, and began to outdistance the Dutchman. Though Jones tried to slow the Pearl with the Chase Guns, the Pearl got out of range, forcing Jones to summon the Kraken to finish the job.
In Beckett's hands
Control of the sea
After watching the Kraken drag the Black Pearl to the depths, Jones became suspicious of how easy it was to defeat Jack Sparrow, and suspected treachery on his part. With mounting concern, he went to check on his heart and discovered only an empty chest. Enraged, Jones thought of this to be of Jack Sparrow's doing and screamed in anguish instilling fear and pain in his crew. Despite that Sparrow was supposedly dead, Jones felt a summons from his heart and had the Dutchman set sail for the source of the summons, Port Royal. Upon arriving, he found the very man who had complete control of Jones' heart, Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company.
Leading the armada
When Cutler Beckett gained control of Davy Jones's heart, he allowed Jones and his crew the freedom they once had, just as long as they followed any of his orders. And so Beckett was able to use the Flying Dutchman to exterminate pirates from the seas. However, after Jones led a massacre of pirate ships, with no survivors, Beckett confronted Jones about the situation aboard the Dutchman, saying that they needed prisoners to interrogate. In order to ensure Jones' loyalty, Beckett had EITC soldiers and Blue Coats, under the command of Admiral James Norrington, stationed aboard the Dutchman to guard the Dead Man's Chest.
The Dutchman would later be ordered to pursue and capture the Empress, Captain Sao Feng's vessel, killing Feng in the process, and the crew, including Elizabeth Swann, were thrown into the brig by Norrington. However, the crew later escaped aided by Norrington who was killed by Bootstrap Bill Turner during the escape. With the ship's commander death a riot broke out on the ship with Jones' men desperately trying to retake control of the chest. When they arrived in the captain's cabin however, they found Mercer still had the key to the chest. With the Empress fleeing to Shipwreck Island the Flying Dutchman, at the head of Beckett's armada, followed.
Showdown with the Black Pearl
- "We've an armada against us, and with the Dutchman there's no chance."
- ―Joshamee Gibbs
During the final conflict between the Pirate Lords and the East India Trading Company, the Flying Dutchman was sent out alone to do battle with the Black Pearl in combat around Calypso's Maelstrom. The Dutchman initially had the advantage of chase guns, which wreaked havoc on the Pearl as it grew closer. However, given the nature of the Maelstrom, Barbossa steered the Pearl further into the waters, and the two ships began to exchange broadsides. Later, as the ships grew even closer together, the crews began to board, leading to much mayhem and fighting. An interesting point is that the cannons of the Dutchman and Pearl were firing for most of the time, it was hardly enough to sink either ship. As the fighting intensified, the captains of the respective ships engaged in single combat aboard the Flying Dutchman while the ship's crew fought around.
Three of the Pearl 's leaders, Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner all did battle with Davy Jones, but none of them could overcome the king of the sea. Towards the end of this conflict, the Dutchman's mast collided with the Pearl, jarring the ships, temporarily unnerving boarders. Barbossa who was controlling the Pearl, was busy fighting and so could not uncouple them. Meanwhile on deck, Jones stabbed William Turner, killing him. However, moments later, Jack Sparrow helped Will stab the heart of Jones by moving Turner's hand as it clutched his sword. In this way, Jones was killed and Turner would be brought to life as the new captain of the Flying Dutchman. Forgetting all about the battle, the crew of the Flying Dutchman gathered around Will to carve out his heart, while the Dutchman, without someone at the wheel sunk into the depths when Barbossa, who had defeated everyone at the helm, dislodged the locked masts.
A new captain
As the Black Pearl now turned to face the HMS Endeavour, flagship of the East India Trading Company, prepared to fight to the death for the cause of piracy, the Dutchman suddenly rose back out of the depths. There was tension at first, as it was unclear whether the Dutchman had really changed hands. Fortunately though, Will was now the new captain, and its crew were reverted back to their true forms: the ship lost the sea life and gruesome humanoid effigies that adorned its hull, revealing gold and bronze beneath. Turner's first act as captain was to join the Black Pearl in carrying out a devastating dual broadside against the HMS Endeavour. The Endeavour was destroyed, perhaps partly due to Beckett's shock at seeing the Dutchman change sides, and Cutler Beckett's armada was routed.
Because Will Turner became the new captain, he would now served aboard the Flying Dutchman for the next ten years, bound to ferry the souls of drowned seamen into the afterlife, as Jones had before him. After Will's one day ashore with Elizabeth, the Dutchman disappeared into the green flash in order to complete its duty. After his ten years of service, Will Turner returned so he could come ashore to be with his awaiting wife and child.
Design and appearance
The Flying Dutchman weighed 420 tons and was 170 feet long, stern to bow. It was armed with forty-six cannons, not including two triple-barreled chase guns. The Dutchman was considered to be the fastest ship both on and beneath the sea. However, it was unable to maintain pursuit of the Black Pearl, which had an edge with a following wind, while the Dutchman was said to be faster with a headwind.
In such cases, the crew called upon the Dutchman's most potent and powerful weapon to destroy their enemies. The ship was fitted with a giant Kraken Hammer, used to summon the Kraken from the ocean depths. The Dutchman was the only vessel immune to the Kraken's destructive rage.
The Flying Dutchman's stern, a sight witnessed by few human sailors, was covered with lamps and windows arranged in the pattern of a fanged mouth. The deck above was intertwined with the skeletons of ferocious sea beasts. A live sea serpent was also attached to the side of the boat, which Jones would send out to collect souls.
The hull of the Flying Dutchman appears to be constructed entirely from driftwood, with every surface encrusted with barnacles and other aquatic flora and fauna from the sea bed. After the curse on the ship was broken, the driftwood fell away revealing that underneath it was actually made of gold and bronze and presumably got its barnacled appearence due to the curse that had turned the crew into sea creatures which was broken when Will Turner became the new captain.
The Flying Dutchman's cannons emerged from ports on either side of the ship. The ports were carved into the hull and took the forms of sea demons with wide gaping mouths.
The Dutchman has 9 24-pound cannons on every side of the gun deck, delivering a destructive blow to any ship that is at range of this powerful ship.
In addition, the Dutchman's sails were white, but raggedy, and covered with seaweed and grime, with multiple holes, perhaps from the many trips into the ocean's depths.
Overall the Dutchman had 54 cannons, as 18 of them are 24-pounders, which made the Dutchman the most powerful ship on the Caribbean.
Behind the scenes
- For filming Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, a ship prop of the Flying Dutchman was built by production designer Rick Heinrichs and his team. The look of the ship was inspired by the 17th century Dutch flutes and the Vasa, a Swedish warship which sank in 1628. Another version of the Dutchman, mounted on a gimbal, was built for filming the Maelstrom battle in At World's End.
- After filming for Dead Man's Chest and At World's End was completed, the Flying Dutchman ship prop was put on display at Castaway Cay. As of November 2010, the Dutchman was dismantled and no longer on display.
- The final fate of the Flying Dutchman under Will Turner is controversial. The writers and director of the films state that he could be freed of the Dutchman upon the end of his ten year service as captain if Elizabeth remained faithful to him, which she did. But a leaflet inside the At World's End DVD says that he is still bound to the Dutchman.
- The Dutchman is based off of the famous maritime ghost ship of the same name which, according to legend, is doomed to sail the seas for all eternity because it's captain foolishly cursed God after sailing into a horrible storm off of the Cape of Good Hope, vowing to round that cape even if it took him till Judgement Day.
- The Flying Dutchman was first mentioned in the 2003 video game, Pirates of the Caribbean. One of the first dialogues was "Not even the Flying Dutchman would have survived that storm!"
- The Dutchman appears in the 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides mobile game wherein the players can see it before they main menu pops-up.
- Pirates of the Caribbean (game) (First mentioned)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: The Coming Storm (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow: City of Gold
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Legends of the Brethren Court: The Caribbean (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Legends of the Brethren Court: Wild Waters (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean Online (Mentioned only)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (First appearance)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
Notes and references
|East India Trading Company ships in Pirates of the Caribbean|
|Other ships in Pirates of the Caribbean|